Horsepower Vineyards Sur Echalas Vineyard Grenache 2016
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The aromas are like putting your nose into a pepper grinder. Through that same grinder come aromas of charcuterie plate, funk, olive, wet stone, herb, flower and tobacco. The palate is arresting from the moment it hits your lips, intensely rich while remaining energetic and showing an incredible sense of balance to the fruit and savory flavors. There is a sense of seamlessness, where it's impossible to say where the finish starts or ends, and then the finish never stops. Best after 2023.
Szechuan pepper, gun powder, strawberries, raspberries, and salted meats (an incredible mix of sweet and sour), the 2016 Grenache Sur Echalas Vineyard hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a layered, silky texture, tons of savory, meaty characteristics, and a great finish. It's a singular, exotic, beautifully complete Grenache that has a touch of Burgundy in its layered, gorgeous style.
Wow—now this is a seductive Grenache! The 2016 Grenache Sur Echalas Vineyard has power and elegance with dark red chewy fruit that has an underlying dustiness to the core. The nose reveals a sleeping giant with a multitude of expressions ready at a moment's notice. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, the wine is eerily soft but jam-packed with dusty sweet strawberries, raspberries wrapped in red flower petals and a smoky flavor that fades in and out throughout the mid-palate. It brings immense pleasure—it acts like a big Grenache yet is reigned in and governed by its 13.4% alcohol. The wine is sumptuous, plush and mineral-driven, lingering long on the finish with a hint of reduction and secondary flavors of soft, worn leather, black tea and black spice. This is an impressive Grenache. I think I am entirely smitten. 243 cases produced.
A very peppery feel to this grenache with light and lacy strawberries and bright berries. Deep and fresh flowers on offer here with a distinctive style. The palate has strength and density to the tannins that is innate and not born of extraction or oak. The density of planting is 12,500 vines per hectare. That’s the difference here. Try from 2022.
Distinctive, yet well-knit and sleek, with boldly expressive cherry and blueberry flavors, accented by black olive, bacon fat and crushed stone. Drink now through 2026.
Tradition isn’t an abstract concept to Christophe Baron, founder of both Cayuse Vineyards and Horsepower Vineyards—he was born into it. The oldest son of the centuries-old Champagne house, Baron Albert, his family has worked their land in the Marne Valley of France since 1677. As recently as 1957 horses still did all of the vineyard cultivation.
Horsepower represents a return to that time, to a simplicity of craftsmanship and purpose that has been largely lost in the modern translation. It’s a window to the Old World—right here in the new.
Responsible for some of Washington’s most highly acclaimed wines, the Walla Walla Valley has experienced a surge in popularity in recent years and is home to both historic wineries and younger, up-and-coming producers.
The Walla Walla Valley, a Native American name meaning “many waters,” is located in southeastern Washington; part of the appellation actually extends into Oregon. Soils here are well-drained, sandy loess over Missoula Flood deposits and fractured basalt.
It is a region perfectly suited to Rhône-inspired Syrahs, distinguished by savory notes of red berry, black olive, smoke and fresh earth. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot create a range of styles from smooth and supple to robust and well-structured. White varieties are rare but some producers blend Sauvignon Blanc with Sémillon, resulting in a rich and round style, and plantings of Viognier, while minimal, are often quite successful.
Of note within Walla Walla, is one new and very peculiar appellation, called the Rocks District of Milton-Freewater. This is the only AVA in the U.S. whose boundaries are totally defined by the soil type. Soils here look a bit like those in the acclaimed Rhône region of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, but are large, ancient, basalt cobblestones. These stones work in the same way as they do in Chateauneuf, absorbing and then radiating the sun's heat up to enhance the ripening of grape clusters. The Rocks District is within the part of Walla Walla that spills over into Oregon and naturally excels in the production of Rhône varieties like Syrah, as well as the Bordeaux varieties.
Grenache thrives in any warm, Mediterranean climate where ample sunlight allows its clusters to achieve full phenolic ripeness. While Grenache's birthplace is Spain (there called Garnacha), today it is more recognized as the key player in the red blends of the Southern Rhône, namely Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes du Rhône and its villages. Somm Secret—The Italian island of Sardinia produces bold, rustic, single varietal Grenache (there called Cannonau). California, Washington and Australia have achieved found success with Grenache, both flying solo and in blends.